Adele Gets Candid About Parenthood and Postpartum Depression

Just when we thought we couldn’t love Adele anymore she goes and shows us (once again) that at her core she really is just like us: a parent who loves her child fiercely, but still experiences the challenges of parenthood just like the rest of us.

In the upcoming December issue of Vanity Fair, (already up on, Adele opens up about the challenges of motherhood – sharing everything from her struggle with postpartum depression to the importance of “mom friends”.

The interview is refreshingly honest, completely disarming and incredibly encouraging as it reminds us “regular parents” that parenting is never easy – even if you’re an award-winning singing sensation with the world at your fingertips.

Adele kicks things off with some serious real-talk as she admits to Vanity Fair that sometimes she misses the alone time she had before becoming a parent.

“I love my son more than anything, but on a daily basis, if I have a minute or two, I wish I could do whatever the f*ck I wanted, whenever I want. Every single day I feel like that.”

Only a few paragraphs in and I feel like Adele and I are bonding as I find myself echoing her sentiments with “Me too” and “Preach girl!”

Adele has a 4-year-old son, Angelo, and I have a 4-year-old daughter, so obviously I can relate to what it’s like not to be able to pee in peace or run a quick errand without loading and unloading kids from the car. Although, Adele clearly knows her limits as she doesn’t appear to be particularly interested in having more little ones (I have Adele trumped in the numbers game as I also have a 2-year-old and a 5-month-old.)

When asked if she would like to give her son Angelo a sibling she mentions that he already has a sister (her boyfriend Simon’s daughter from a previous marriage), “…so that’s my get-out-of-jail-free card. I’m too scared. I had really bad postpartum depression after I had my son, and it frightened me.”

She proceeds to launch into her postpartum experience with a candor that is a breath of fresh air. She shares how postpartum took her a bit by surprise.

“My knowledge of postpartum—or post-natal, as we call it in England—is that you don’t want to be with your child; you’re worried you might hurt your child; you’re worried you weren’t doing a good job. But I was obsessed with my child. I felt very inadequate; I felt like I’d made the worst decision of my life . . . . It can come in many different forms.”

Even though our culture is slowly becoming more open to discussing the realities of postpartum depression, it’s still such a difficult topic and there is so much shame surrounding it, which makes it all the more important that someone with such a big platform is willing to be honest about it and bring it into the light. The truth is that postpartum depression really does come in many different forms and I experienced a bit of it myself with my first child in a way that was similar to the singer’s experience – feeling like I’d made the worst decision of my life and like I was completely failing at motherhood. Thankfully I was able to come out on the other side and the veil lifted – just as it did for Adele. A big part of the process for her was confiding about her struggle with “mom friends”.

“…without realizing it, I was gravitating towards pregnant women and other women with children, because I found they’re a bit more patient. You’ll be talking to someone, but you’re not really listening, because you’re so f*ckin’ tired. My friends who didn’t have kids would get annoyed with me, whereas I knew I could just sit there and chat absolute mush with my friends who had children, and we wouldn’t judge each other.”

YES. Thank goodness for friends who are parents too and who “get it”. Those friends who are willing to walk down this challenging road with us side-by-side are worth their weight in gold. I am so thankful for my own tribe of friends who let me “chat absolute mush” with them. Mom brain is seriously a real thing, but despite my lack of conversational skills during this exhausted stage of life, it’s so nice to have some human interaction nonetheless.

Adele goes on to share that the open honesty she was able to confide in with friends played an important part in helping her emerge from the dark cloud of postpartum depression, telling VF that,

“One day I said to a friend, ‘I f*ckin’ hate this,’ and she just burst into tears and said, ‘I f*ckin’ hate this, too.’ And it was done. It lifted.”

I echo this sentiment. Sometimes just putting our truth out there – putting flesh and bone on the nebulous emotions we may be feeling – is enough to get us through a challenging season of life…parenthood in particular. There are so many challenges that come at different stages and for very different reasons, but this exercise in catharsis is just as valuable for all of them.

In addition to connecting and sharing with friends, Adele notes that an even bigger part of her journey was making time for herself a priority.

“Eventually I just said, I’m going to give myself an afternoon a week, just to do whatever the f*ck I want without my baby,” and she refuses to feel guilty about this practice, because she knows how important it is for her wellbeing. “A friend of mine said, ‘Really? Don’t you feel bad?’ I said, I do, but not as bad as I’d feel if I didn’t do it.”

All the praise hands for this. I cannot tell you how long it took me to realize that taking time for myself was a crucial part of being a good mother. It wasn’t until my second child was born that I started regularly scheduling in time for myself – to go to the gym, or out to happy hour with a friend, or even just to lay on my bed and read a book in peace. It was a huge realization for me when I saw that I couldn’t take care of my kids the way they needed until I was able to take care of myself the way I needed.

Throughout her Vanity Fair interview, Adele’s beautiful authenticity shines through, but especially when she reminds us that we can stand in solidarity as we navigate this tricky business of parenthood. She notes that:

“Four of my friends felt the same way I did, and everyone was too embarrassed to talk about it; they thought everyone would think they were a bad mom, and it’s not the case, it makes you a better mom if you give yourself a better time.”

Thank you to Adele for reminding us that we are all in this together and that there’s no shame in admitting our struggles and growing together through them, because that’s what parenthood is all about.


Image Vanity Fair Instagram